Storytelling, one of the oldest practices honoring cultural expression and social evolution, is an art. In February, 2012, our “Pueblo Magico” (“Magical Town”) Todos Santos, celebrated its ninth edition of the Festival de Cine de Todos Santos, with a series of award winning movies; stories about people in search of freedom, justice, spirituality, connection with the gods, connection with the self. The characters told us their story through art, psychedelic journey, tradition, music, peace, war, sustainable living…love. Every movie unique, nonetheless one universal story kept touching us viewers who could recognize in all of them the heart-beat of our very own search in life…real happiness, real peace, real love, with all the pain (and laughter) that often entails.
The movies shown this year represented Mexico, Spain, Chile, Cuba and Argentina. One of the films shown was Even the Rain, featuring Gael Garcia Bernal, which is set against the backdrop of the real life 2000 “Water Wars”, that fought against Bechtel and the privatization of Bolivia’s water supply, and it was nominated by Spain for the Oscar award after winning the Silver Ariel, 3 Goya Awards, Berlin International, Palm Springs, 6 Cinema Writers Awards & Best Film European Film. Besides 25 international films, the Festival presented locally produced films with its “Youth in Video” program (with our very own Kris Torra providing tuteledge) as well as the presence of distinguished international talent.
Other films shown were The Painting lesson, Acorazado, Los otros Californios, Hidalgo,The never told story, Flores del Desierto, El dedo, El Ambulante, Los 100 sones cubanos, closing with Ispansi…all films with English subtitles. It was nice to find out was that after Diego Luna’s visit to Todos Santos Film Festival last year, the festival is now united to a network of 12 states that share his nomadic documentary film festival known as “Ambulante”; and that due to its success the Festival have added two new venues, in La Paz, the Teatro Juarez and Galería Galería, as well as continuing with their film program at the Universidad de BCS.
While the Todos Santos film festival will never be a “market” like the Sundance film festival, that’s not what it’s all about. It’s successful in its own right and yet another thread that ties together our unique and diverse region with cross-cultural interaction, education and entertainment with family. It’s about building a community.
Congratulations to Sylvia Perel, its founder! I can hardly wait to know next year Schedule!
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